Feb. 28, 2004
COLORADO STATE, Colo. - The University of New Mexico men's team earned all-conference honors in two more events on Saturday as the Lobos recorded their best indoor conference meet score in 14 years at the 2004 Mountain West Conference Championships. New Mexico finished fifth for the fourth straight year, but its 66 points were the most since tallying 118 in a second place finish at the 1990 Western Athletic Conference Championships. The young UNM women's team finished sixth with 23 points.
"What [Chris Garofola] did today, running three finals and coming back to do a leg on the relay - that was just something special."
UNM head coach Matt Henry
Senior Chris Garofola and junior Matt Gonzales paced the Lobo men on the third and final day of the meet, scoring 12 points apiece. Garofola earned individual all-MWC honors for the first time in his career with a third place finish in the 200. The Fort Washington, Pa. native clocked a personal-best time of 21.54, just off the NCAA provisional standard. Garofola also finished sixth in both the 60 (6.99*) and 60-meter hurdles (8.21*), and helped the UNM mile relay team place fourth (3:19.75) to conclude a tremendous weekend of competition.
"He was unbelievable," said UNM head coach Matt Henry. "What he did today, running three finals and coming back to do a leg on the relay - that was just something special. There's not many people who can do what he did and I'm going to remember that for a long time."
Junior Amanda Barnes paced the women's team with an all-conference performance in the shot put. Barnes placed a career-best third and increased her indoor record in the event with a toss of 49-03.50. The 2003 outdoor shot put champion, Barnes had not finished higher than sixth in two previous MWC indoor meets.
In other finals competition, seniors Jason Barkemeyer and Jordan Parker each turned in career best performances to combine for five points in the shot put. Barkemeyer finished fifth with a personal best mark of 56-09.25, while Parker was eighth with a top toss of 54-01.00. Senior Mark Johnson led a 6-7-8 finish for the Lobos in the pole vault with a career best clearance of 16-09.25. Johnson finished the three-day meet with a team-high 13 points, including his heptathlon conference title. Senior Branden Bennett made a solid indoor debut after missing virtually all of 2003 due to injury, placing seventh with a mark of 16-01.25. Junior Derek Mackel, meanwhile, was eighth with a vault of 15-07.25.
True freshman Riann Lucy finished sixth in the 800-meter finals in her MWC debut, clocking a time of 2:17.41. Finally, the women's mile relay team was sixth with a time of 3:57.43, just 2.31 seconds out of fourth.
BYU (224.5 points) dominated the women's field to claim its fourth straight MWC indoor crown. The Cougar men (169.5), meanwhile, survived a dog fight with Colorado State (164) and Air Force (162.5) to win its third league title.